"To the person responsible for the Reunion Rescue website,
First I'll start by saying that it's admirable of you to undertake a noble cause. Pit bulls need all the help they can get, and I know first hand that they are wonderful companions. But...Here are some great sources on animal health:
Your website has quite a bit of incorrect information that I feel could be harmful both to the dogs and their people. I'm sure you have the best intentions, but they are a bit misguided. I am soon beginning my fourth and final year of veterinary school, and I have learned a great deal about health and disease of dogs, so I want to share some information with you in the hope that you will revise what is incorrect on your website.
Raw diets are not the best choice for the modern dog or cat. It is important to remember that although our pets have wild ancestors that consumed raw meat, humans have bred these animals to the point that they are far-removed from their wild ancestors. Our domestic pets now live much longer and healthier lives than their ancestors thanks to advances in science and pet care, such as the commercial diet. It is certainly true that not all commercial diets were created equally, and that it is important to feed a high-quality diet for the best health of our pets. Food from reputable companies such as Hill's, Purina, and Royal Canin have much scientific research behind them to come up with the best formulas for our pets' nutritional needs. As for raw diets, there is abundant data showing that these are actually dangerous not only to pets' health, but to their owners as well. In a study by Morely P.S. et al (2006), they proved that 93% of dogs fed raw diets shed Salmonella in their feces, whereas 0-2% of dogs fed commercial diets shed Salmonella. Both exposure to the feces containing agents of disease (such as Salmonella) and preparing a pet's raw diet can make their human owners very sick.
On a different subject, vaccination of pets is another medical advancement that has greatly improved both the quality and the longevity of our pets' lives. Thanks to vaccinations, rabies (which is 100% fatal) has basically been eliminated in the US pet population. Additionally, vaccination against very serious diseases, such as Feline Leukemia Virus and Canine Parvovirus (parvo), has greatly reduced the amount of sick pets in the US. But these diseases only remain at low numbers as long as people keep their pets vaccinated. And that means that when people adopt or rescue an animal with an unknown background (a stray pit bull, for instance), it is very important to have this animal examined by a veterinary doctor and then vaccinated. Even if the animal received vaccines with its previous family, getting boosters is not harmful to the animal, and will definitely help protect it from many diseases.
Under your "About Us" tab, I was hoping there would be some credentials or sources to back up the information on your website, but there were none. It is alarming how easy it is to spread misinformation on the internet, and giving people incorrect information could prove harmful to both their pet and to them. If you truly care about animal health, please consider doing some fact-checking from reputable sources (some are listed below) and updating your website. Or get in touch with your local veterinary doctor! I urge you, from one animal lover to the next.
Merck Veterinary Manual: http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):
Centers for Disease Control (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/
US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA): http://www.aphis.usda.gov/
Temple Grandin's website: http://www.grandin.com/
Boy. There is so much wrong with this letter, it's overpowering, however, I'm experienced with ignorance and disbelief. In fact, I deal with it on a daily basis. Let me take this assault apart point by point beginning with the statement regarding Reunion Rescue's 'noble cause' saving pit bulls.
The work of Reunion Rescue is not a cause. We didn't go out looking for an underdog to save. The underdog comes to me. I get something like four thousand emails and pleas per day asking for help. The bulk of these stem from pet over-production which is the life's blood of most vets who encourage breeding while shelters are killing millions of companion animals.
That being said, my work has led to years of experiencing over-zealous vets, offices filled with Hills Science Diet owned by Colgate-Palmolive which also runs the nation's largest rendering plant. Ever wonder where all the dead cats and dogs from shelters and vet hospitals end up? Nothing discourages me any more than some vet with only 3 hours of nutrition classes under his belt talking one of my adopters out of a healthy raw meat diet while trying hawk the products that paid for his vet school.
This dear girl goes on to suggest I change what she calls 'incorrect' information on my website by lashing out at 'raw diets' which she claims 'are not the best choice for the modern dog or cat.' This student even threatens illness to the concerned pet owner in preparing a raw diet. There is so much wrong with this paragraph, it's almost impossible to dissect, but I'll try. I'd much rather cut up some of the myths promulgated from the modern veterinary schools than the poor defenseless animals in their research labs.
Most raw feeders, and I belong to several co-ops around the country and Canada, are astute, thinking individuals who've done their research. Raw feeders I have met have more knowledge about nutrition and pet health than 98 percent of the conventional vets I've encountered. In over fifteen years and a lifetime before of depending on allopathic vet care, I've met more than a few. In my own experience, I've dealt with the loss of companion animals in which too often the vet after running a battery of expensive tests, produces an educated guess, a bottle of pharmaceutical drugs or 'humane euthanasia.'
Tragically, much of my email in box is filled with horror stories of some senior or very sick pet left to be euthanized at the local shelter because the owner couldn't afford the huge vet bill. I can't tell you how many times a day, an hour, I see these horrific stories. It sickens me.
Why don't they teach healing at vet school? Rather than cut up healthy animals on the research table, why not cure a sick one? I would love to share my experiences treating kennel cough and giardia with homeopathic remedies which cost $6.99 a bottle. Ok, so you have to vaccinate a kitten a thousand times because the law makes you? Why not detox that poor animal to remove some of the mercury, anti-freeze, formaldehyde, rabies and other nasty crap from the body? At least give that kitten receiving half the same dose given to a horse a bit of a fighting chance.
My experiences with sub-standard suggestions from the conventional veterinary community has paved my path toward healthy research in which I have personally not had to 'humanely euthanize' a pet in many years. Every animal in my care and those which live in a raw feeding household and practice holistic support have passed on when their times came naturally....in my arms or those of their caregivers. What a concept.
Which leads us to...
"And that means that when people adopt or rescue an animal with an unknown background (a stray pit bull, for instance), it is very important to have this animal examined by a veterinary doctor and then vaccinated. Even if the animal received vaccines with its previous family, getting boosters is not harmful to the animal, and will definitely help protect it from many diseases."So the over-vaccinated animal which is vaccinated again upon shelter release is then vaccinated again at the kindly vet office. According to this young lady, vaccines are not harmful. When an animal is referred to as an 'it' as this future vet calls them, I know the mentality I'm dealing with. To these people who might have entered vet school as a vocation to help the animals they claim to love, those beings are now a commodity.
You want credentials? How about the thousands of animals Reunion Rescue has helped over the years. Let your research abilities direct you to our Reunion Rescue Facebook page with tons of pictures of healthy animals who've eaten raw meat diet and enjoyed holistic rather than pharmaceutical support over the years.
You cite Merck and AVMA along with Center for Disease Control and USDA for me to examine and replace our good healthy information with? Why? These gruesome authorities have near nothing of interest to the person looking to heal animals. Why do I feel like the lady in the movie 'Coma' when she discovers a horrible medical conspiracy. If you were looking to terrify me, you've succeeded.
I'm saddened that rather than teach healing and look for actual cures, the modern vet school is turning out students that attack the voice of reason and good health much like their prescribed antibiotics kill everything encountered like the Mucinex army.
So, to wind it up, there will not be any changes to the Reunion Rescue website and Health Page. We have a job to do and it's a hard job. It's not easy to try and undo huge pharmaceutical company funded 'studies' and corporate-based myths about nutrition, but we have living, healthy 'case-studies' which we call by their names.
Names like Vinny who came to us overweight, blind and riddled with hip dysplasia. After a few weeks of good healthy organic free range diet and a homeopathic work up, Vinny is pain free and spends his free time running for his ball. Dogs like Raspberry who was fine when she got here, but contracted a near-death bout of rabies vaccinosis at the vet.
Dogs like Misha who had recurring 'meatball' tumors from over-vaccination and since being deferred from vaccines and holistic support, has gone on to enjoy life tumor and vaccine-free. Benny was going to be destroyed at the shelter due to severe complications from mange was cured completely without any pharmaceuticals and has the blog to show his progress.
I have a saying for students like this young woman who promotes pharmaceutical companies, low-grade kibble and research which depends on mass animal torture....I'll take my chances with the rabies.